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Is Home Depot’s Water Test from RainSoft a Scam?

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[Editor's Note: RainSoft is suing me over the article regarding my and my wife's personal experience as described below.]

You may have noticed that Lazy Man and Money didn't publish an article yesterday. That's because the half hour that my wife and I put aside for an in-home water test stretched to three hours. I love losing 2.5 hours of productivity, don't you?

Is Home Depot's Water Test From RainSoft A Scam?

Is Home Depot's Water Test From RainSoft A Scam?

Let me rewind a little bit. About 6 weeks ago, we got the standard water report for our community. In one area, TTHMs, it was over the EPAs limit by about 1% - instead of 80 parts per million allowed, there were 80.7. That didn't exactly scare me, but with a 10-month old baby, my wife was motivated to see if we can do better. A little research showed that our Brita water pitcher didn't reduce TTHMs. However, this PUR faucet water filter that we found at Home Depot did, so we got one.

While at Home Depot, we saw something about a free water test. We knew this was going to lead to a sales pitch, but figured that it couldn't hurt. We took a sample and mailed it in. Of course it came back with "problematic" results (maybe not their exact words my wife took the call). The company was happy to send out someone to talk to us in person.

RainSoft's "Magic Show"

It turns out that the company is RainSoft. The salesman was super nice, and very friendly with our dog. Seemed like a nice guy, but every company can hire a few nice salesmen. He pulled up his briefcase with his water contraption and proceeded to do a multitude of tests of our water from three sources: tap water, Pur filter, and water through his filter.

The demonstration started with him adding some chemicals and a yellow dye to each bottle. He explained that this just expands what's in the water and makes it easier to see. What surprised me is that water from the Pur filter was essentially unchanged from our tap water. They each were quite foggy with something that appeared to be a "phlemmy-type" substance flowing in it. The water from the RainSoft was clean, except for the yellow dye.

The salesman referred to this as a "problem" with our water. I took issue with this. I would compare it to evaluating TV reception. If you wanted to expand one area of a TV screen really large, you'd likely see imperfections in a broadcast. In reality no one watches TV like that. In normal use, the picture has no "problem", but maybe it isn't ideal. I am willing to admit that my friend's Samsung TV has a better picture than my cheap Element from WalMart, but I wouldn't characterize my TV screen as having a "problem." In the same way, I could give the salesman his due that it looks better, but it doesn't mean that what I currently have is problematic (it also doesn't mean that it isn't problematic). Similarly, my car after the car wash looks better, but it doesn't mean that because I haven't washed in a couple of days, I have a "problem" on my hands.

A Break in the Story

It has cost me thousands of dollars in lawyers fees to defend my right to express my opinion to help save you money. It's much more money than this article will ever make. Ironically I would have been much better off just spending the thousands on RainSoft system.

I really love helping people, but as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished.

If you believe this article saved you money, I humbly ask that you consider paying it forward. You can help keep this article alive for others by making a donation via GoFundMe.

Back to the "Magic Show"

The salesman also did a chlorine test that showed 1.5 parts per million (ppm). However, the point was made that "We are drinking chlorine, a poison!" He didn't scream that or anything, but certainly played up the point. He told a story about how soldiers in some war were given super-chlorinated water to kill all the other bad stuff and 100% of them had some sort of malady. When I asked how much chlorine (ppm) they had, he said that he didn't know and it probably wasn't known in the study. So some huge amount of chlorine is bad for me, I agree. However, 1.5ppm doesn't seem like much. It's a little like how apple seeds contain cyanide. I'm sure I've had an apple seed, but I didn't die. Just like how the body can defend itself well enough with from a small amount of cyanide, perhaps it can do the same with chlorine. I wonder how many bad things like chlorine are in other foods and drinks I consume? Maybe it is enough to make the 1.5ppm an insignificant factor, right?

As you can tell, I'm a skeptical person by nature. I love to think about how, if I wanted to be devious, I could pull it off. For example, the bottles he brought with him that were labeled for our water could have been laced with contaminants. I'm not saying they were, but it's possible. Conversely, the bottle for the clean could have had been laced with something that reacts to the chemicals he used to make it appear clear. We aren't versed in these chemicals or the validity of the tests. I presume very few people are, so it really could be, as my wife put it, a "magic show."

In fact, there is a YouTube video showing how the TDS (Total Desolved Solids) test doesn't necessary tell you much. The whole video is interesting, but relevant part for our test started at the 4:56 mark.

If you don't care to watch the video, the key thing to note is that a high TDS could be measuring either harmful chemicals or beneficial minearals. After he measured both our tap and Pur to show that the TDS numbers are high, I brought a glass over to test what his RainSoft filtered water was. He wouldn't test it. He explained that RainSoft's reverse osmosis filter is better suited for that and that system isn't portable enough to bring in for the demonstration. So in short, he had nothing helpful to demonstrate with regard to TDS.

Since the Pur filter didn't seem to perform better in any of the RainSoft tests, I asked the salesman if the product was fraudulent. He's telling me that I have a problem with my water and Pur has published that it takes certain impurities, so I put it on him to tell me which ones were being left behind from the Pur. He couldn't help with that. I may have took it a little too far in suggesting that we should stop what we are doing right now, contact a lawyer, and sue Pur, because from what he's showing me, it does absolutely nothing. He wasn't too keen on that and just wanted to show us what the Pur wasn't cleaning. I was disappointed in this because he just showed visuals, he wasn't actually able to say something like, "See you still have 75ppm of TTHMs with Pur, where RainSoft filtered water has zero." That's what I was expecting from an in-home water test.

RainSoft's Money Saving Pitch

Throughout the "magic show", there were questions about how much we spend on various things related to our water use. For example, he asked how much bottle water we use. We use about two gallons a week of this Pure water from Gerber that is around $1.

Then he asked about our grocery spending and used that to attempt our soap/shampoo/cleaning products use. This was a horribly failed experiment because we are not the typical family. Our cleaning service uses their own products. My wife has a fancy salon shampoo that she hugs at night (I kid, but there's no way she is giving that up). He translated this to about $50 a month from using a low-end of our total grocery bill.

Next up, he calculated that people typically replace one appliance a year worth around $365, so that cost is about a dollar a day - or $30 a month.

He used these numbers to show what we are already spending on water - $82 a month or $984 a year... and nearly $20,000 over 20 years. Holy statistics gone wrong, Batman. I didn't realize that RainSoft is going to make my appliances last forever. The pitch was that they'll last longer without the hardness of the water gumming up the pipes. However, putting the whole $1 in there means that we'd never buy another appliance, which I highly doubt. If it makes appliances live 20% longer, then I'd buy putting $0.20 a day in there. However, a friend who has put some research into these systems, suggested that I avoid any system where you use salt as it will actually shorten the life of the appliances. I haven't verified this (more on why later), but it is worth noting.

The soap number is a little trickier to explain. One of the "magic acts" was how a few drops of soap in RainSoft clean water foams up much more than in our tap water. This was a convincing part of the show, but it doesn't mean our soap is going to be free. It also doesn't address how over-estimated the $50 number is in the first place. I would have put it at closer to $12 and even that might have been high. This is where the kicker came in. If we bought today, we'd get 5 years of some free super organic soap and cleaning products. So there are some soap savings in there. It included some 47 bottles of shampoo. I just finished up using a bottle that I had for over 2 years and it was around $1.25. With the cleaning service using their own products, the value of this free soap would be to throw on Ebay or donate for a tax write-off. Sadly, I can't even find the name of soap anywhere to do more research on it.

Finally we'll still buy the water our pediatrician recommended, so we won't save any money there. When you are done that $82 number shrinks considerably. I'm not sure if it is $10 or $20, but it's probably closer to that.

Not only that, but the RainSoft solution has ongoing costs. Every 5 or 6 weeks you have to buy a bag of salt tablets. The RainSoft salesman said it was $5 at Home Depot. That's means buying it around 10 times a year coming to roughly $50 a year. There are filters you have buy every so often as well. My wife wrote down those numbers, but it's a hundred dollars here and there, certainly not free.

Uncovering RainSoft's Red Flags

Aside from what appear to be false promises on it saving money, here are a few other red flags that I came across.

I won't hide it, the "free soap" really got under my skin. No one "gives away" $2700 worth of anything for free. The salesman said that it is clearly a bribe, because when they leave 80% of the people don't call them back. I have a pile of thoughts on this:

  • The theory about people not calling them back because they get busy with other things in life doesn't really hold water (pun intended). We proactively contacted them in the first place. We are honestly interested in a good, clean water solution. It's not like they came to our house and we really weren't interested or on the fence.
  • Every time a company has put forth a big bribe to buy the product right away, I've found that it wasn't a great deal. (I'm lookin at you Marriot Vacation Club. My feeling is that they don't want you to do the research, because you might uncover a bunch of red flags.
  • If you are going to offer me something only for today, I'm certainly not going to buy your product at all tomorrow. If I go and read all the reviews and it checks out, I'm still going to pass unless they give us the soap, otherwise they've taken away a significant portion of the value they originally presented me. Maybe that's why 80% of people don't call you back, RainSoft. Perhaps you should give the 20% who do call you back after doing the research two soap packages. Work on increasing that 20% number through great customer support, not a high-pressure sales tactic.
  • How much cheaper would the RainSoft filtering system be if they weren't giving away all this free soap? It's quite obvious to everyone that in order to subsidize the "free soap" they have to charge more for the core product, right? (Yet another reason why I would want my "free" soap if I'm buying this.)

The salespitch went through appliances and asked about warranties and how they are 1, 3, or 5 years if you buy an extended warranty. Well, RainSoft is going to give a lifetime warranty. However, that warranty doesn't cover labor. From the reviews I've read online people have needed multiple appointments of $80 a piece to fix the system. It seems to me that if you are going to stand behind your product enough to give it a lifetime warranty, you should stand behind its ability to work as intended as long as the customer didn't do anything to sabotage it. If I have a lifetime warranty and it costs me $80 a month for repeated maintenance, what is the warranty actually giving me? It's an extreme example to expect it to break down every month, but I'm just using it to make a point.

What people say in various forums is interesting itself. When I read about people needing it repaired multiple times, other people in the forums wrote that these people leaving poor reviews probably work for competitors because theirs works fine. I always laugh about that, because no one really knows the truth and the people giving suppositions about why other people are writing have no clue if some are getting faulty products. I'm more inclined to think that RainSoft people are trying to explain away legitimate complaints.

We can go round and round on these reviews all day. The salesman even said that people do research and then point out that 15 people had complaints. He then says that 15 people out of the 3 million (or whatever the amount they sold) is a pretty high satisfaction rate. However, if I were to show you a product on Amazon that has 15 negative reviews and no positive ones, would you buy it? How about a seller on Ebay that had 15 negative reviews and no positive ones? Probably not. I'm not saying that RainSoft has no positive reviews, but I didn't come across too many in quite a few searches. The ones I did find were on sites like RainSoftOfDesMoines, clearly a RainSoft site.

RainSoft Pricing

There were a few different products pitched to us, but the main solution was their EC4 unit. That runs $4888. There was also a $1200 Point of System (POS) reverse osmosis system for cleaning our drinking even more. Interestingly the tests didn't use that system and supposedly the water was purely clean already, so this is just an extra layer of filtering. Interestingly, people in 2010, were getting pitched an EC4 system that costs $2750 due to an "overshipment". Combine this with the $2700 in free soap the person was offered and I really have to question why I'd pay nearly $5000 or $6000 for what they offered me.

I asked about a lower cost unit for our rental properties (since they save appliances for an infinitely long time) and the salesman offered a version that doesn't have the computer control at the top. He said that instead it used a timer, which isn't nearly as accurate. This version is $1000 cheaper. It's apples and oranges, but a new Nexus 7 has wifi, one of the best screens around, bluetooth, etc... all for $229. It seems like paying $1000 for a one-trick pony computer is very, very overpriced.

The RainSoft people had a financing solution available. I didn't have a calculator handy, but asked him to be straight-up, "What's the APR on that?" His response was that it was 17%. So essentially, they are going to consider close to an overdue credit card. Thanks a ton, RainSoft. I wouldn't use their financing, but that certainly doesn't instill confidence.

Is RainSoft a Scam?

This article is already long enough. I believe I'm certainly forgetting some valid points on both sides, but I wonder if people are still reading ;-). I don't want to say that the RainSoft EC4 product doesn't work. They did a handwashing test and my wife could really tell the difference. They did a cleaning a drinking glass test and there was a huge difference there. From what I'm reading though, the quality is closer to mid-level, but it is really high-priced (hence why they can afford to drop it $2200). Combine that with the high-pressure sales tactics (the "free soap"), and other slightly deceptive practices (the TDS count, the 17% financing, the "lifetime" warranty) and I'm not inclined to buy their product.

That said, I recognized that my wife was impressed by the product, so I agreed to a $100 deposit to keep our "free soap" option open. It seems like at a minimum, I've got to call up and officially cancel to see if I can get the good pricing. However, I'm much more likely to move on to another company that prices their product competitively to start with, so I don't have to play these games.

One last housekeeping note, I purposely included Home Depot in the title, because they have some affiliation and I believe that's how most people find out about RainSoft.

Update 1: Looking for advice you can trust? Here's a guide to water purification covering some of the top rated products from various retailers without biased salesmen using scare tactics or erroneous logic about their products saving you money (see update 2 below).

Update 2: Consumer Reports has reported about the scare tactics that water filter companies use. That article specifically cites action that Massachusetts has taken against a couple. One of those includes Basement Technologies which sells RainSoft products.

Have you ever installed a water purification system? If so, who did you use? (Was it RainSoft?)

Last updated on March 1, 2016.

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449 Responses to “Is Home Depot’s Water Test from RainSoft a Scam?”

  1. Randi says:

    So we purchased The entire Rainsoft System this past August, 2015. We didn’t know much about any of it to be honest, we are a young married couple starting a family. We agreed to $100 payment a month for years to pay off a grand total of $10,000. That’s how much the entire system cost for the filter on the kitchen sink, the system for the washer, the big tanks in the garage and the air filter machine. We were not made aware of all of te upkeep to the system until the “3rd party company” hired to install the system told us. Which is quite a lot of money. We buy the bags of salt at Home Depot to refill the tanks in the garage. We have yet to buy the new tanks that go under the kitchen sink for the extra filtration but were told they are close to $90 to replace. Also we have not figured out why but the air filter machine stopped working after the first month. When the man who was in an unmarked vehicle that was just some old junked up truck that leaked oil pulled up in the driveway we were told it would take a couple hours to install, which turned into 2 full days of work. He could not find our water intake pipes so he had to dig this huge trench in our front yard, he rented some big excavation machine to dig up my yard, which he did not call “811 dig” to legally do this, and installed these huge ugly pipes sticking out in front of my house by the end of it. Once he finished he realized where our water intake pipes were so he didn’t need to do any of that work at all. He didn’t clean up his mess in my yard or replace my grass or anything. I do like the water in the house but as far as everything else goes I would not reccomend this company.

  2. Brian says:

    Thanks to all for comments. Just had a Rainsoft installed no money down. Product works as promised where Panhandle water known to be poor. The water is fine to swallow now but the price is close to 6.5K for only the EC4 system and Pure Clean products. No tax, no install fees and -$500 cause not financing it. The salesman was everything you would expect and I do not mind the time he spent to explain and demonstrate an expensive decision. I got paid $20 for my time with a gift card. I am on the fence and considering the ‘Cancel’ option (2 days left). The one item that has me sold is the ‘Water Initiative Program (WIP)’ the salesman said I qualify which offers up to 40% back come tax time. Though I do not find any WIP information online. Anyone else aware of this WIP? ‘WIP’ is even written on the bill/receipt. I am calling RainSoft Customer Service tomorrow to inquire. Hope to read your comments soon.

    • Lazy Man says:


      Sorry for your nightmare. Financially speaking, starting out with a $10,000 debt that will take years to pay off is not ideal. That would have been bad enough on its own, but then you add in all the other stuff that you are going through. Ugh.


      It sounds like you are in Florida (“Panhandle”). Is that right? I ask because I’m curious how there’s no tax on the product. That doesn’t seem right. Also I could only find a “Water Initiative Program” in Vermont and it doesn’t seem like it related to tax rebate for consumers. So, like you, I don’t see anything about this. I’m not saying the salesman is wrong, but that I couldn’t find what he’s talking about.

      I think you definitely want to get that 40% tax credit back in writing detailing EXACTLY what it is. That’s $2600 that you are trusting to a salesman writing “WIP” on a receipt. The other concern is that you used the words, “up to” in “up to 40%” here. That means that it could be 0.001% back in which case you’d get very little back. It’s like a store that’s offering “up to 90% off” and you see three items that are 90% off and everything else is discounted 5%. If those 3 items are 90% off the original pricing of 8-track players, most people would consider it a 5% off sale.

      Since neither of us can find information on this WIP, I fear that this could be a deceptive sales technique. Come tax time your ‘Cancel’ option will have expired. Also, I don’t think any Federal or State initiatives are subsidizing water purification at the home level. It would be more beneficial to put the money into making the water great at the source rather than giving potentially millions of people a tax break worth thousands of dollars. Do the math and that’s billions of dollars to water purification companies. It really doesn’t seem right to me.

      If you email the RainSoft salesman’s information with this contact form here, I’d love to ask him more about the Water Initiative Program myself.

  3. RobertH says:

    I am in the market for a new water softener and I decided to do some research before I made my purchase. I moved from Florida to Tennessee and after having had a soft water for the last 15 years I am ready to get a system as soon as I can at my new home.

    I am not new to water softeners. Back in the early to mid 1990’s I actually sold Rainsoft equipment for a couple weeks. On my first outing I sold a unit to a family that knew they wanted the system before I got there so it was not a tough sale. I didn’t sell another unit after that and that was certainly my fault. The equipment is good and I had no problem with that, but I could not sell the units with a clear conscience knowing how much markup was in the system. My commission alone was quite large. I couldn’t imagine what the phone people, managers and installers were making let alone the franchise itself. Too much markup killed my excitement for Rainsoft.

    Funny part is years later my wife accepted an invitation for a rep to come by our new house (without telling me) to test our water. The rep tested our water and said we needed a softener, etc. I was not there at this time and I had just installed a Whirlpool softener I bought at Lowe’s but I had not adjusted it for our harness so the test he ran came back bad. My wife told him to come back when I was home to test again.

    So the rep comes back and by this time I had adjusted my softener and it was working fine. The rep tested the water and admitted the water was good but said my store bought softener would not last. That was over 11 years ago and my Lowe’s bought softener is still working like a champ. I saved over $4k easy by getting a unit myself.

    I read through the comments here and I had to chime in. My experience is that Rainsoft is grossly overpriced. You can get a system that works just as well for much less. If you want to spend the money because you think that more money means better equipment then go right ahead and buy Rainsoft. But consider that a large portion of your purchase is commissions and not for better quality parts.

    I commend Lazy Man for taking a stand in what he believes in and not backing down to cooperate pressure.

  4. Alex says:

    They called me yesterday and told me they were conducting free water tests and that they were with “Environmental Water Protection” They told me that it was a courtesy home water test that they were doing for a survey so I went ahead and scheduled and appointment. Earlier I was sent a survey card which promised a $20 gift card if I returned it, and I had this lady call yesterday and say that in order to get the $20 gift card I needed to allow a free water test for my home. In the meantime I looked up “Environmental Water Protection” and could not find any such thing here in Tennessee. A Guy calls back and wants to confirm my appointment and I really had to wrangle it out of him that he was really with “RainSoft.” I thought it was so sneaky of them to pretend to be something else and want to come into your home with a Free Water Test while scaring you into getting their product. I cancelled my free water test. You can test your own water with a simple kit. All the hassle of some dubious salesperson coming to my home is not worth a $20 gift card. Although I must say it was dishonest of them to promise a $20 gift card and then force people to jump through another hoop just to get it… I hate deceit and Rainsoft lost my business before they even saw my home with such sneaky dishonest tactics.

  5. D says:

    They got into my house by saying they were with Home Depot. Apparently Home Depot sells customer information and I had recently purchased new appliances from Home Depot. That was 4 years ago. I have never set foot into a Home Depot since and never will.

  6. Brian Whitman says:

    I liked your article and set through the long and laborious presentation last evening. Like you I found many of those same issues with the presentation. A few other items is that for us it was pitched as 3 levels.. A All 3 items 7974 B. EC4 plus one other 6874, or just the EC4 for 5774.

    The one other part that our sales person was going with was how it saved on your clothing so they lasted longer. Umm my 7yr old will not be wearing this same size clothes next winter…. savings lost. ditto for my 14yr old. And ditto for my you get the point.

    I would also be curious for people to post how “hard” their water is. I was told mine was pretty hard, but I have to say we are still using the same bottle of ALL detergent since moving in about 4 mo ago (about 6 loads per wk). I wonder if everybody uses 12 drops to get blue.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Wow, saving money on clothing? I have sweatshirts from when the Patriots won back-to-back championships in 2003-2004 that I wear a lot and they are fine. I don’t know how much money I can save when my shirts already last 10-15 years.

    • Sunshine says:

      Our test took 20 drops to get to blue.

  7. Grace Liu says:

    I sure wish my husband came across this site before he invited RainSoft into our homes last night. He only told me someone’s coming over at 6:30pm to test our water. It’ll take 45 mins. 2 hours later, I have never been so angry with a salesperson in my life. The first 1.75 hours were annoying but nothing I couldn’t chalk up to a waste of the time. But the last 15 min were the most irritating I have ever experienced. The salesman’s bullying tactics were borderline harassment. He literally got into an argument with me about giving him a definitive yes or no RIGHT NOW. I didn’t have any issues with the product or price, but his disrespectful behavior at the end unsold me.

  8. Yok says:

    Wow, I just found this website….wish I had found it sooner.

    I had RainSoft come to my house too at 6pm. Since I’m an engineer in sales I was very curious to what my results would be since I have 3 filters (redundant) already hooked up on my house. Ofcourse she showed how nasty my water is…testing took an hour and she kept harping on the “savings”. “Even Dave Ramsey signed up to do it”. Lots of things to say with out ANY proof!

    …So around 8 or 9pm! I told her she needed to leave. It took me 30min to kick her out. I was close to calling the cops or tying a rope around her and dragging her out myself.


  9. G Garcia says:

    For a fucker that has a big mouth you also have a vivid imagination and an ignorant brain. You talk a lot of shit. The truth is if the water is bad and ruins pipes in new homes and even homes built with lead pipes, and the water has chlorine and minerals and other contaminants and it tastes bad and ruin clothes and makes the laundry coming out smelling like your mother’s ass, YOU NEED A WATER PURIFICATION SYSTEM. Brita Water will not resolve that. You must be a disgruntled ex employee or maybe you are looking for some lead yourself.

    • Lazy Man says:

      G Garcia,

      What part of the review of my experience in looking for water purification lead you to believe I was a disgruntled ex-employee or was looking for lead?

      I was just talking with my local senator’s aide about RainSoft and someone else in the room overheard us. She said it was one of the worst purchases she ever made. After spending around $5000 (she couldn’t remember the exact number) and have having it installed she got a disclosure that it wouldn’t help with the chlorine levels. That was the whole reason she was buying the product.

  10. Bob says:

    I worked for a Rainsoft dealer a little over a decade ago and I wanted to share an insider’s look.

    Disclaimer: This comment is an opinion based on my personal experiences with 2 specific Rainsoft dealers.

    I started in the sales department. First of all, the salesmen are not fully versed on Rainsoft products. They are told exactly what they need to know in order to make the sale. The rest of their training involves high-pressure tactics and a song-and-dance, or ‘magic show’ as you aptly called it.

    A few things:

    The ‘lifetime warranty’ was actually a LIMITED lifetime warranty (when I was working for the company, at least). The limited lifetime warranty did NOT cover labor OR parts after a certain period of time, I think about a year. It covered, if I’m not mistaken, the cylinder itself, and that’s about it. What it did not cover were the mechanical/computerized parts. Also: The soap, which was a huge selling point, did not seem to go as far as most customers thought it would. On top of it all, financing through the company was a financial nightmare for many customers.

    I didn’t really find out the rest of the story until I ended up moving to the installation/repair department. During my time in installation/repair, I visited many customers in about a hundred-mile radius in a gulf state. An overwhelming number of our customers hated Rainsoft than loved it. I specifically remember one customer saying it was the worst decision they had ever made. I thought that was a bold statement at the time, but it began to make more sense the longer I worked in the repair department.

    I want to reiterate the fact that the salesmen are only told as much as they need to know. They throw around many half-truths. They stress the warranty; they stress the soap; they stress how much money their product will save the customer. But it’s all just a pitch. The salesmen were paid straight commission. If they didn’t sell, they didn’t get paid, so there is pressure on the salesmen to sell, sell, sell. Maybe it’s different at other dealers, but I doubt it.

    I could go into a little more detail, but I think you get the point: Rainsoft might not be a horrible product, but it’s not worth the money, in my opinion. In my opinion, the kinds of people who work for Rainsoft dealers, and the kinds of people who buy into their song-and-dance, are the same kinds of people who get involved in pyramid schemes and fall prey to crooked televangelists.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thank you Bob. What you wrote is what I’ve felt from the presentation and reading reviews from people.

      I can see why financing through the company, which was around 17% if memory serves is a nightmare. You’d think they could have a secured loan (using the product as collateral) for around 5% or less.

  11. Holly says:

    I think it comes down to where a person lives and the value they place on water. I didn’t even let the saleswoman make it to the pricing and free soap speel the first time she did the test/sales pitch last September because when the bottled water I had been drinking turned out to be worse than the faucet water I asked what bottled water was best and was told distilled water or purified but that you had to read the source and the process used with the purified water (I found out when I had her come back at the beginning of this month that I didn’t retain that last bit about the purified water because I went from buying the cases of cheap store brand spring water to paying double for the cases of nestles pure life and suffering with the taste of purified water only to find that it was actually worse than my faucet water). So…anywho, I had her comeback because I realized that it smelled like a swimming pool sometimes when I ran the water and after taking a shower I felt like I stepped out of a swimming pool, and on top of that I tracked the amount I was paying for jugs of distilled water and cases of purified water because I wanted to prove them wrong. Long story short in the community I live we have treated well water and although this last time around the water wasn’t as hard it was still way up there, chlorine high as well…I justified buying the EC4, the laundry system and the reverse osmosis…the installers came out and actually had to reroute my supply line to set up the system and after 7 hrs of labor and feeling buyers remorse because of dealing with the chunks of stuff coming through the lines and not really being convinced that it was worth it because I wasn’t seeing a big difference in the first couple days but now I’m a pure advocate because my skin has never felt softer without lotion not my hair without conditioner…the laundry doesn’t have a musty smell when I pull it out of the washer like it did before with soap and removing it right after the cycle, and *drum roll please* I’m actually drinking slicker water (well, from the reverse osmosis spiket atleast…that’s a big step for me because I made my ex hisband put a softener in our old house with well water and and inline filter plus another filter before the water even hit the ice maker or water source and I still wouldn’t drink the water because I’m weird like that about water. This long story short turned long but in my family’s case it’s been a night and day difference between the before and a few days after the install and what’s better is that now instead of having to try and squeeze into a small crawl space for the water cut off lever all I have to do is walk over and turn a knob by the hot water tank from inside my house from how they rerouted everything as part of the install. Actually wish I wouldn’t have been so skeptical when the lady came out the first time…

  12. Holly says:

    I almost forgot to mention that I found this page when I was searching for more info about how the laundry system works because They said ozone and I still didn’t understand the how and was really courious after seeing the difference…smelling it too which about choked me the first time around but after that was awesome.

  13. Timothy says:

    Thanks for the blog post. I just had the “water test” done at my house last night. Signed up at Home Depot. Total bait and switch. I guess I naively thought it was actually a water test. Salesperson was nice enough, but I don’t take well to deception and lies. He compared my water to pool water, which is silly. He said the average house saves $35/month on water heating bills which is hilarious because my water heating bill is closer to $35 a YEAR. I am a former chemistry teacher and a current academic and the stuff this guy was saying was full of lies, half-truths, scare-tactics, and about 5% useful information. The water test was an absolute joke – of course my water has dissolved particles in it. Anyway, I will be contacting both Home Depot and Rainsoft to complain about my experience. Very dishonest. I would never buy a system from this company even if it worked well. I would find someone else that does not rely on such dishonest tactics.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thank you Timothy. I felt the same way as you did. They seem to be compounding their mistakes by attempting to sue a critic (me) who offered to help them fix these issues.

  14. Jay says:

    Ha, we had this exact experience last night and then looked them up, and had to laugh when we found your article and I read it aloud to my wife. Identical experience right down to our having described it as a magic show. My additions to the story: when they first called us it was to say some dissolved solids had been found in our water, they couldn’t tell us exactly what but could send someone out who’d do a full test and tell us exactly what was in our water. They were insistent that both spouses be home, and when they called me *twice* a few days beforehand to confirm, then called my wife *twice* anyway to reconfirm, we found this disingenuous and high pressure right off the bat.

    The magic show began around 7:15pm on a work day. After 90 minutes of your accurately described magic show which we had also been told would take an hour, we finally had to stop him so we could make dinner, when after saying “I’m wrapping up now” he then said, “Now I just need one more hour of your undivided attention.” So instead we agreed on a time a few days from now when he can come and do “the second hour.” As soon as he was gone we agreed that the show was entertaining as heck (our 4-year-old loved it) but pointless. Instead of a technician testing our water to tell us what was in it like we expected, we got a live infomercial where he showed us slides of the Earth from space and told us about how the planet was formed billions of years ago by a spinning ball of rock with an iron core that made it an electromagnet, and then the planet was pummeled with “ice comets” and so on. Then he started talking about water pollution in the broadest global terms possible as though we needed convincing that water pollution is a major problem. We’re the ones who requested this test and are thinking about improving our water, yes? So no need for the *long,* expansive speech and slideshow.

    Bottom line, here’s what we learned: there’s stuff in our water. Good stuff? Bad stuff? Who knows. Just stuff, which he dramatically illustrates by swirling around the sedimented particles. My spouse is a biologist so this was particularly entertaining and silly from her point of view, as even healthy mineral water will sediment out the minerals, so particles don’t prove anything. When I asked specifically, is there lead in our water, he couldn’t tell us. He could only tell us their system removes lead (if it’s there) and that they don’t get into “specific heavy metals…we just focus on removing everything.”

    When I asked if it filters out fluoride, instead of giving me an answer he said there’s a lot of debate on whether fluoride is good or bad, and told us that fluoride is not a vitamin or a nutrient and that there’s a reason you’re supposed to spit out your toothpaste instead of swallowing it, even though it does prevent tooth decay, acting as a ‘spackle” to fill in gaps in your tooth enamel (yeah we know what it’s in the water for, pal; does your system remove it our not??). I said great but whether it’s good or bad for you–does your system filter it out? Just curious. He stammered and said finally, “No it doesn’t.” I don’t know why that was a big deal. That was fine with us; I’m just pointing out how it was difficult if not impossible to get straight answers from him regarding anything that went off his memorized script. You now how politicians say, don’t answer the question you were asked but the question you wish you had been asked? That was the Rainsoft salesman to a tee.

    My spouse asked how we can find out exactly what’s in the water and he dismissively said, Oh that’s takes a full spectrum analysis, it’s very complicated and involves photons and beams of light and , and basically he steered us away from that and tried to keep us on the track of–why do you want *anything* in your water, why the focus on just lead? In other words – he doesn’t have a clue what’s actually in our water except for trace amounts of chlorine because that’s put in by our treatment plant. Does his system remove chlorine? YES. That was the only straight answer we got. But as has been stated in your article, an expontentially cheaper Pur filter also will remove chlorine. We still don’t have a clue what else is in our water.

    We’re grateful that we broke it up into a 2nd meeting because it gave us a chance to research this online and find articles like yours, and get a sense of the extreme cost of it. We’ve now purchased a First Alert testing system for $20 to find out exactly what’s in our water before deciding what to buy, but we won’t be going with Rainsoft and won’t be keeping our second meeting.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Great comment, Jay… I really appreciate you sharing your experience. Like you, I was expecting a water test such as a full spectrum analysis.

      It’s really interesting that your salesman said it didn’t filter out fluoride. It was a long time ago now, but I recall mine saying that it did. My response was, “How do I put that back in? I want fluoride.” I don’t think he had an answer for that.

      It’s interesting that they lied to you about the time it would take like they did to us.

  15. Jay says:

    I’ve got an update for you. Our above-mentioned second appointment was scheduled for tomorrow. We wanted to cancel it but realized that our salesman (Fernando, whom we deduced from a little web work isn’t from RainSoft as he claimed from a Rainsoft dealer, Atlantic Home Services based in Delaware. As I had no initial way to reach Fernando by phone (clever that he didn’t leave a number or business card, eh? makes canceling a major pain) I emailed them through the site giving them my name and address and letting them know to cancel our appointment with their salesman “Fernando.” I then predicted to my better half that they wouldn’t write back to confirm but would instead call her to try and get us to keep the appointment anyway. And yep, that’s exactly what they did. Divide and conquer the spouses! We could guess this because of the way they had called us both, twice, separately, to confirm the first appointment as though we wouldn’t both be sharing this annoyance with each other. Their firm message to her said she needs to call them back immediately to cancel, or they’ll consider the appointment confirmed! My wife didn’t bother calling them back but instead we just sent them another email through their site saying that if anyone shows up at our house tomorrow night we’ll consider it stalking and harassment and will immediately call 911.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Jay, thank you for writing an update of your opinion of your experience. As I’ve written about, RainSoft is suing me to prevent readers from getting access to this information. Every testimonial that readers have is very important and helpful.

  16. Phil says:

    I had the same issue. Some girl came up to me in Home Depot and asked if I would like to fill out a survey for a chance to win a $25 gift card. I figured why not. After the first real question outside of your name and contact information I knew it was for a water test. I said sure, why not.

    I was called later that night and had an appointment that was only going to take 30 minutes. They requested that both my wife and I be available for this but I said that would most likely not happen.

    4:30 pm is when it started and I’m sure she didn’t leave until close to 6:45 pm after the magic show and sales pitch. She was very argumentative with me on multiple topics. Somewhat pissed me off with her comments. Guilting me into believing that I was harming my family by not providing them with clean water.

    I told her that I need a few days to look into all her claims of being the best. Trying to say that the soap offer was only good today. I told her that if I come back on Friday and want the system and the soap isn’t on the table (5 years worth) than I would not purchase the system. She gave me some BS that she would not enter it into the system until after we speak on Friday so she could do that for me.

    Thursday comes around and another lady from RainSoft calls to offer me a cheaper system that is on a timer and cleans itself if it needs it or not. Not as efficient but This system came in at $3155 vs $5999. I would also come with a 1 year soap package. The APR on their financing would be 3.9%, so a lot better than the 17% stated above.

    I was close to doing this. I have the application and I was ready to fill it out for the TC-75 system but I am re-thinking everything after looking into RainSoft more and more.

    The lady on the phone was a lot nicer than the in person lady.

  17. Desirae says:

    First and foremost I want to say thank you for your article. Your article saved my fiancé and I $6k+. A few weeks ago we were in Home Depot and I decided to pick up one of their “Free Water Sample Test” kits. I was curious how our water was since we tend to have undissolved particles in our filters. I received a phone call from a lady telling me my water test results show “problems” in our water. She asked if I would be interested in one of their technicians coming by our house to do further accurate testing on not only our tap water but also any bottle water we may have in our home. She said that the testing would be free and that we would receive a $20 Home Depot gift card. She said the test should only take about 1 hour if that. I had her schedule a technician to come out 2 days later.

    So today the technician came to our house. I wasn’t expected a sweet older man with a brief case and a metal box. He introduced himself and began sitting up his “mini lab”. I thought he would test our water and I could preoccupy myself with reading my Nook. That was not the case. We had to sit through a slideshow presentation and he went on and talk about the dangers that could potentially be in our water…etc. Not 1 but 2 hours and 45 minutes later he is telling us we could by this water system for only $6k+!!!!! I could not believe my eyes. I just wanted my water tested for free and receive a $20 gift card. Anyways, my fiancé and I were pretty sold on the idea of adding a water filtration system in our home. While I was waiting on hold on the phone wth a Home Depot representative to see if we were approved for a credit card, I did my own quick research on my phone about the RainSoft system. I did not like the gut feeling I had about being pressured into buying this system right away.

    I was denied the credit card and decided to use this as a sign not to get the system. I told the salesman that since I was denied the Home Depot credit card, I would not purchase the system today. But instead wanted a couple of days to think about it.

    He tried to change my decision. He expressed how the “Free Soap” was only available today. I told him that was okay, but I needed time to think about it and research the system. His attitude went from being a happy humble salesman to a cold bitter old man. There was instantly tension in the air. I tried to make small talk with him while he packed up his things. He was very short with his response. This was the final sign that I made the right decision not to buy the system.

    Thank you once again for your review. You saved us from making a regretful consumer mistake.

  18. T says:

    Run fast away… I’ll post my story soon once the dust settles,, but be aware they are using non licensed plumbers on your main water line…… for the money they charge for these things, it should be a licensed plumber in a tuxedo touching the piping that supplies the water to your family, not someone who sits through a 3 hours “certification” course.

  19. Gary Ross says:

    A very good friend worked for Rainsoft some years ago (maybe 10 YEARS). He told me they use a tactic that if you have a home demonstration and do not purchase, they will call you back in a few days and offer you different equipment in the $2K range. Also he said their office will install the units really soon after purchase (most cases the next day). The idea is that you have three days to cancel the deal but once the unit is installed, the customer can no longer cancel it and is stuck in the event they get buyer’s remorse. I wouldn’t say Rainsoft is a scam. They are a company that is just trying to make all the money they can, because they only have one shot at you and they don’t have anything else to offer except water quality products. You can find equipment that will soften and filter water at prices much cheaper than rainsoft but you just need to shop around and educate yourself about the issues you have . Education will save you lots of money no matter the product or company. Direct sales companies ALL have similar sales tactics that are designed to get more money from you.I have worked for a few of them and I hated their deceptive sales tactics. The companies I worked for were Sears Home Improvement Products and Rascal scooters. They used call back tactics that offered a cheaper product that the initial salesman was forbidden to mention on the initial call.Just beware with ANY direct sales company. They all use deceptive practices.

  20. Diana Ramlal says:

    A friend purchased the water system and suggested I also check it out. Someone came you and did them demo…I told them my main concern was that I wanted it installed out of the way and I’ll be moving within a year or two and I wanted to be sure they would cover the cost of moving the water system. The salesman told me they could install it on the porch where the main water line was and you get one free move. I should have asked to see it in writing. Needless to say, the guy came to install it and told me it couldn’t be installed when I was promised. It had to be installed in the entrance of my garage…exactly where I didn’t want it. That should have been my red flag to cancel immediately pre install. Then time came to move and I called Rainsoft….and of course they don’t cover moving if for free. I’d have to pay a free for someone to come out and then pay labor charges for removing from the current house and installing at the new house. I’m totally disappointed and will not recommend this product to anyone because of this sales tactic by a Home Depot representative. I’m still paying for this product and wish I didn’t purchase it. I do notice a difference in the water though but that could just be the charcoal filter.

  21. ana says:

    We had the system installed and are very satisfied with it. Our water tastes better and skin and hair feel softer. The slimy feel is normal of water from natural wells. I remember where I come from when we went to the country, we loved the feel on our skin and hair after we took a bath. I don’t discuss that is overpriced but if you can afford it, is beneficiary for your family. Thank you for your efforts to help others save.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I’m always curious when people leave anonymous comments and say that the products worked great. Why would someone do that? Are they ashamed to say that the product worked well? I wonder if you are a RainSoft salesman.

      There’s nothing wrong with water softeners, I agreed with you that the water felt great in my post. I was interested in lowering the TTHMs in my water (as I noted in the post), and my research tells me that the very, very cheap PUR faucet filter does the job. I believe it is beneficial for my family. So my question is, “What is the degree of objective beneficial results?”

      We need this to put together cost/benefit analysis. That’s what I was looking for from the water test that I thought was coming from Home Depot. I don’t feel like I got that, do you?

  22. Kelly H says:

    I grew up on well water, then used a Britta filter when I had city water. I couldn’t stand the taste of chlorine.
    I recently bought a house already equipped with the Rainsoft system. Is it worth using if I already have it?

    • Lazy Man says:

      If you already have it for free, why not just roll with it and see how it goes? You can always buy a water testing kit if you are curious about the specific levels of some things.

  23. Michael says:

    Yeah I fell for it the HP water test. I do need better well water quality but 8,650.00 for the ECS Oxytech is way overpriced, considering I could build one using different units myself for much cheaper. I will be canceling the installment. As I might sign up but will not commit until I research everything even if it is a for today only special. This site saved me a lot of research time thank you…

  24. Jin says:

    Thanks for this article about your experience. Like other people, we were contacted because we had filled out something at Home Depot. When contacted the person used the Home Depot name (not the name of the company) and said they were giving us a free water test. I knew it would likely end in a sales pitch, but figured that a free water test couldn’t hurt. Their guy arrived and then proceeded to run through the test (which was really just a comparison of our water and their softened water). It went on and on – for nearly 3 hours. It was just as you described. We declined to take the bait – which was good for us. In my opinion it is as close to a scam as you can get. Here’s why: 1. They called it a water test, but it really did not test for anything. 2. They use materials which are unknown to the customer to conduct their comparison. 3. They give you a hard sale – and try to deceive you with the offer of something for free, and by telling you that this will clearly save you money – which in reality it is likely not to save one much of anything. 4. They try to get you to take the sale with payments over 84 months. Purchasing their unit for almost $8000 over 84 months turns into a total of over $14000. 5. They do not apologize for keeping you from your dinner or other things they have kept you from. In my opinion, unless your water was really bad, you’d be better off not spending so much money to get their system.

  25. lead the mutiny says:

    I don’t EVER write reviews for goods or services online but I felt compelled to for RainSoft. First all of, thank you for this review – this post and the comments that followed were one of the main reasons I decided NOT to follow through with the RainSoft system.

    RainSoft contacted me through a third party company called Quality Home Services. They received my information from a card that I filled out with the Home Depot logo on it. It said that if I answered a quick survey I would received a $15 gift card. I figured, why not? A couple of days later I received a phone call saying they had received my info card and wanted to schedule a time to stop by to do a home water test which was necessary to get the $15 gift card. Again, I figured why not? The most obscure thing was that they made sure to tell me multiple times that EVERYONE living in the home had to be present for the test.

    The sales rep showed up on time but my wife wasn’t home yet from work. She refused to even come inside until my wife got home. I asked her how long it would take and she assured me it’d only be 45 min (to me this seemed long so I told her to just get started and my wife would be home within a few min. Again, she refused). When my wife arrived, the sales rep (who was actually very nice) proceeded with her sales pitch.

    Let me pause right here and say that she was not at my home for 45 min – she was there for THREE HOURS. Many people have already dictated how the sales pitch went and they were spot on. I don’t want to say that this is a SCAM, I’d say it’s more of a SEMI-SCAM. The sales reps are good with their magic tricks and fool you into thinking that you are drinking/bathing/washing with water comparable to that of a third world country. I’ve, since, learned that this is NOT TRUE.

    Is our water hard? Yes. Do the RainSoft products work? Yes. Are they overpriced? You betcha ($6,500!). The one thing they fail to mention is that not only do they remove all of the contaminants from your water but they ALSO remove necessary minerals. The end of her lengthy pitch was what tipped me off when she told me that we should NOT hook up their treated water to water our grass and plants because they will die. LET THAT SINK IN FOR A SECOND. I asked her why and she said that “for some reason, they need the junk that’s in the water.” (ie. The necessary minerals). This is why you’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t live solely on bottled water, which also uses reverse osmosis to treat the water. Is it bad for you? Not necessarily. But if it’s primarily what you drink you could be depriving yourself of the natural minerals that are found in your everyday drinking water. Oh, and on a side note, we gave one of our dogs a small bowl of the treated water and he has been having bouts of diarrhea all day today. I looked it up and softened water treated by reverse osmosis is not recommended for animals either. Go figure.

    To sum it all up, should you go with RainSoft? I would say a resounding NO. It is overpriced and not necessary so don’t buy into their gimmick. With all that being said, the softened water DOES have benefits, specifically in regards to 1) pipes (which does not cause them to clog and may prevent future pipe bursts/water damage) and 2) appliances such as toilet/shower/washing machine/dishwasher (you really don’t have to use as much detergent which is cool).

    My wife and I, initially, signed up because we were told we would have to pay an installation fee if we didn’t sign up that day (which is just a sales pitch and not true). The soaps were kinda cool but I really didn’t care about them at all. We ended up cancelling before they even did an installation which helps give us peace of mind. In the end, RainSoft is not necessarily a bad product or a bad company but I would recommended doing your research before signing up for ANY water treatment program. There are definitely much cheaper options out there. So, do yourself a favor and don’t even allow them to come to do the water test (unless you want to waste 3 hours of your time). And it’s probably not a good idea to fill out info cards that promise free money either…

    • Nick M says:

      So if the treated water should not be drank/used on plants grass animals.. do you mean the water coming from the special little sink they put in or the whole general system?

      I limit this water only to mix the bottles of formula for my 6 month old. Ever since by wife has stopped breastfeeding my daughter only get this alkaline water to mix up her formula. Are you saying that this water can hurt my baby?

    • Lazy Man says:

      Nick M,

      My pediatrician recommended this baby water from Gerber and that’s what we used. It was about a dollar a gallon at our local grocery store.

    • Nick Weisz says:


      The reason they say the treated water is not safe to drink or water plants is due to the excess sodium that is in your water after going through the water softener. The reverse osmosis system at your kitchen sink with the skinny faucet, if you had one installed, will remove the excess sodium. That doesn’t mean the other water is harmful, it just means there’s more sodium than normal. The amount of sodium in soft water varies as every water source is different. The harder the incoming water, the more sodium is exchanged and added to your water. As far as alkaline water goes, you’re paying for something that is pointless in my opinion. Alkaline water is just an adjustment of the pH with added minerals. The stores that sell this use a reverse osmosis unit to purify the water and then add minerals to the water to make it “alkaline.” And they usually charge more than gasoline per gallon. Your body, if healthy, balances its own pH by itself. Dont waste your money on the alkaline water. Now the water they sell for babies has added fluoride which is good for them. The reverse osmosis system will remove flouride as well so you need to determine if your baby needs it. I’ve been in the industry for 20 years. Hopefully this little bit of info helps!

  26. Brandis says:

    I was at an outdoor children’s event, American home design had a booth set up offering free water testing and you’d get a $20 gift card in return. My husband and I were interested in seeing what was in our water. They came the following week and did their “magic show”. My husband and I agreed to the system , we have the EC5 water conditioning system, ION-X 100 polymer resin, QRS whole home filtration system, ultrefiner II premium drinking system . Our system is $5,982 , which unfortunately is being financed so in the long run will cost us a lot more. We haven’t started the payments yet but they are $120 a month for the next 6 years. The sales pitch really led us to believe we were getting something great but personally I cannot tell one difference in my water now with the filter system versus the water I had before. I am not fully satisfied with what was sold to me and don’t feel like it’s worth the cost. However they said that we can’t return the product . So I’m not sure what to do my husband and I are stuck with something we no longer want and yet if we don’t make the payments were screwed. Looking back on it I feel like we were pressured into getting this product that day, it was cheaper to buy on the spot then to have them come back out to do it. Any advice or suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

  27. Brandis says:

    Think filing a consumer complaint is asking to be sued by them, I don’t have the money to fight . They’ve lowered or interest rate and now our payment is $75 a month which is more manageable but Id still rather just not have the system altogether.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I’ve never heard of a case of a consumer filing a complaint with the Attorneys General triggering a lawsuit. Talk with your state’s Attorneys General office. I think they are legal experts and can give you good guidance.

  28. Monica says:

    I’ve just spent the last 1 hour and 40 minutes reading this article and EVERY SINGLE COMMENT left here. I almost feel sick to my stomach because the only reason i found your article was because we’ve had our Rainsoft system for 1 year and just received a call from them stating that it’s time to set up our Annual service. Since my salesman told my husband and I that everything is included in the $11,000 finance we signed I was under the impression that meant EVERYTHING even though I was surprised to find out that we had to buy Bags of salt every month from home depot too. We get to the scheduled date of next week and she states that it’ll be $200 fee!!! My husband is sitting right next to me with her on speaker and we just look at each other shocked! I asked why would we have a fee to pay if we were told that there would be no fees and that everything was included in that crazy price (that we agreed to since this thing is supposed to last a lifetime), and she responds with “yeah we hear that a lot, but it’s a service fee plus you have to pay for the filters, this year it’s 2 under the sink, next year you’ll do all 3 under the sink and the year after that the big ones in the garage and these will all be annually, bi annually or 3 to 4 years for the big ones!” We are so upset that we were lied to about all that too and she just brushes it off and even says “we hear that all the time”!!!!
    I ask to speak to a manager somewhere because that’s just ridiculous and we get transferred to some lady who can’t say her name clearly enough even though I asked her again what her name was. We explain our concerns, that we were told everything was included and she starts going over WHY the service is needed “it’s like when you have a car you need to service it, change the oil” my husband cut her off and said “yes, we understand WHY we need the service and we’re glad to have it done, our Issue is the fact that we were told there weren’t any fees and that everything is included when we were sold the unit” she started again “well there are parts associated with it, filters that need to be replaced so there are costs for those things” obviously quoting from her script of ‘don’t acknowledge their concerns just talk over them til they get frustrated’. My husband repeated himself and then she asked the name of our sales rep from a year ago! I said “We don’t know off the top of our heads” and she says she can look it up and asks for our address. She looks it up, states the name of the guy quickly and says, “well, the person you need to talk to is ×××” sorry i don’t remember i was so pissed “she’ll call you tomorrow, she’s the boss, she’s EVERYBODY’S boss.”
    We hang up and I went online to start looking up policies etc and find this. So I’ll be speaking to that person tomorrow, she’ll most likely call while I’m at work so I’ll have to figure that one out. We also got the 17% interest that was so generously lowered to 11% somehow when we signed up, but yeah, we have a stench also every time we run the laundry…never called about it though, thought it was something that would go away and i guess we just got used to it.

  29. Rebecca glass says:

    we were suckered…and we are furious…we feel the water makes our hair tangled and difficult to get the soap out. our dishes are not spotless as promised. our toilets and sink faucets, shower heads now have pink residue…we called several times to have it removed but they said we still had to pay for it regardless. if anyone knows of a class action suit or the like, let us know…we were scared to have our kids drink the water….

  30. Max says:

    Lazy man help my fiance just purchased this system plz talk some sense into her

  31. Jeff says:

    OMG this just happened to us yesterday. The exact same experience as most of you on here. I filled out a water quality survey at Home Depot. Next thing i know I get a call from some lady saying they would like to give me a $20 Home Depot gift card and send someone to my house to test my water and it should only take about 30-45 minutes. But myself and my wife need to both be home for this. So I scheduled it figuring what harm could it do to find out how my water was knowing they were going to try and sell me something.

    Fast forward to the appointment. And 2.5 hours of my life gone. When I told the sales lady (who had been extremely nice the entire time) that we didn’t want the system right now because we just didn’t have the money to drop close to 10k for everything they were selling, she became very irate and almost abusive with me. She flat out asked me, “Do you love your children? Yes? Then why would you continue to bath them and feed them this chemically treated water?” WOW. REALLY? At that point there was no way she was going to get a sale from me. She tried a few more guilt laden statements as well but I was able to shut her down. Once she realized she was not going to make a sale she quickly packed up all of her gear and left in a huff.

    My wife and I discussed afterwards and have considered getting a water treatment system now but after her attitude there is NO way I will go back to that company.

  32. Jaime says:

    Help!! We signed tonight and need to figure out how to cancel tomorrow before the installer shows up! My husband and I are furious!! Can I go to Home Depot and hand in cancel notice? Or do I need to deliver to rainsoft (Florida water and Air)?

    • Lazy Man says:

      You should read the contract. I would go through your RainSoft distributor first and Home Depot as a back-up. The more ways that you make it known that you are looking to cancel before installation the better.

    • Jaime says:

      Of course the sales guy never left his business card (if he even has one). But I have the company’s main phone number so will be calling this morning. I hate the fact that we gave them our personal information. I do have the right to cancel paperwork. I will get this in the mail asap today with return receipt. I located federal trade commissions Cooling Off Period law. Have you seen? It lays the law out pretty clearly. So annoyed this happened…if I wasn’t trying to put a 2 yr old and 6 yr old to bed, I would have looked up your blog while my husband was
      With the rep. Like little kids are not stressful enough, an annoying sales rep sucked his way into our house.

  33. Julie says:

    I loved this article. Completely and totally on point. We didn’t actually contact them to start with, we got a card in the mail. This card advertised that they were doing research in the area to help out local stores to find out what products to carry. They wanted to come to our house to do a water test and for our time, we would get a $20 Amazon gift card. I agreed and set up a time only to be stood up. Then I got a call from them apologizing about an oversite and how they wanted an opportunity to reschedule and that I would get a $40 Amazon gift card to show their appreciation for my time.
    We were given the same sales pitch as described above and after we declined, we never heard from them again nor did we get our promised Amazon gift card….. no big surprise.
    We were very interested in their product, but to expect someone to buy somethibg that cost that kind of money on tge spot is ludicrous. I have to think about things like that. I wasn’t even expecting a presentation to begin with. That wasn’t what I was told ut was going to be. I thought they were doing “research”. A bunch of BS if you ask me.

  34. Randy says:

    My wife and I had to replace our fridge and bought one through Home Depot. A week after delivery we got a call from Home Depot Home Services to set up an appointment to test the water. Sounded like good customer service since we just put down over $1000 for a fridge with good water filter.
    They asked to set up an in home appointement and we sorted out an approximate time. It started to feel a little fishy so I called Home Depot and they said sometimes they have people come out to test things. Ok, seemed ok but vague.
    It was not until the day of the appointment when a dispatcher called to confirm our address that they said they’d be testing the tap water. Bingo we don’t need that since we have a new fridge with filter. Also the appointment was going to take 45 min to an hour. We kind of don’t have that kind of time with 2 young children and work to do.
    When they requested that both my wife and I be at the appointment multiple times that was a big red flag.

  35. Prasy says:

    We went thru it yesterday night from 7-9:30pm
    and have agreed to install for 4K for EC4 unit with all freebies all have mentioned.

    As most of the reviews said product is good, but high price, till now everyone stated price @ 6K or more and i m getting for 4K, then is it worth?

    do let me know ASAP as they are going to install tonight.

    • Lazy Man says:

      It’s been awhile since I reviewed this, but I think that last time I looked there were some very highly rated options for around $1000 total.

      I’d be concerned that they are rushing to do install.

    • Joshua says:

      I would say no. Not even for $2k would I have installed it. Good luck.

    • Jaime says:

      I would say no. After we got our of the whole ordeal, I found an article about best 2016 filtrations, I would much rather purchase gravity fed filter (brand Berkey)…or there are 2 under sink for $200-300 that take most pollutants out of water (propur). Look on Amazon and read reviews (they are quite a few in this category).

    • Nick says:

      I’m in the industry and I would say just for the softener that is way too much but not unheard of. Shop around if you want a water conditioning company to do the work for you. Even Culligan who is my biggest competitor and are worldwide is around $2500.00 for comparable unit. I would say don’t do it. Shop shop shop!!

  36. Johnathon says:

    So you are spending a small fortune in legal fees to keep this review going because “YOU LIKE HELPING PEOPLE ”
    Give me a break!! There should be a scam review on you and your Lazyman reviews. Lining your own pocket with money from donations and other companies who sponsor this site. You sit home probably because your to lazy to get a real job and type on your little computer negative things about how Rainsoft is a scam. First and foremost these Rainsoft reps that come to your home do not make the rules and most work very long days on there on dime trying to make a real living to feed their families. There job is to help homeowners see the benefits of getting clean water with superior equipment not to scam them. I guess you could care less how your Lazyman scam effects them. Now I could take the time to educate you why these systems are far superior to industry standard equipment but I have a real job and I don’t have time to go back and forth with a man who probably makes a very good living despite spending thousands and thousands of dollars for lawyers “because you like helping people”

    • Lazy Man says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble Johnathon, but I was a successful senior software engineer in Silicon Valley. I made about 3x a year there than I did with my blog. I’ve published more than 2100 articles (probably 2000+ written by myself) helping people with their personal finances and relating my own personal finance journey. You can see an example of a few dozen articles on saving money here.

      Obviously, I would prefer that RainSoft would let me relate my experience without being subject to a frivolous lawsuit. There are probably a hundred or more people commenting here who can corroborate my experience as being similar to their own. I haven’t read about them being sued as well.

      My wife and I were under the impression that an unaffiliated representative from Home Depot was going to test our water and give us PROs and CONs from different manufacturers. That’s not what we experienced. I think it is very, very similar to this WKRG CBS News Scam Busters report about RainSoft.

      I was in the market to learn about the benefits of clean water as I showed in the article. The salesman wasn’t independent as we expected. He didn’t bring along other companies’ equipment to perform tests and give us the objective measurement from different filtration products from different companies.

      Your defense of RainSoft salesmen makes you sound like you might be one. I understand that salesman make a real living and need to feed their families. I simply feel that it should be honest and not, in my opinion, deceptive. Every consumer is welcome to review my experience and compare it to their own. I’m not telling what to think and I even praise the product’s ability to make water feel soft at the end of the article.

      I recently found this very interesting tale from a RainSoft dealer in 2008… years before my experience. I don’t think I’ve ever quoted something this large before, but the website seems to focus on RainSoft’s a nonsensical response to the dealer’s review of how they deal with consumers (rather than addressing it is from a dealer). Unless someone is wise enough to click “Read the Review” they won’t get the real information that the alleged dealer wanted to convey.

      Here’s what the anonymous dealer had to say, and I believe it:

      “Basically, Rainsoft has partnered with Home Depot and promises to provide a free water test by sending a Sales person (Water Analyst) to your home to test your water. What many people do not realize is that along with that water test comes a 2-3 hour presentation on all the reasons you may need a water treatment system and air filter in your home. If you don’t want to sit down at your kitchen table and listen to a 2-3 hour scripted presentation, then please do not even bother getting the free water test. Just know this, if you are presently using tap water in your home, all Rainsoft intends to do is show you that your water is hard, contains impurities, and causes you to buy more soap to get bubbles. Is this worth your time?

      This company has received so many consumer complaints, which are very much valid, and this is the reason that I left the company. I empathize with people who have been given false promises and potentially a false product with results that are not even real. When I worked at Rainsoft, one of the managers said, “now if the product doesn’t work, do you think the customer will know about it.” At that point my heart was completely torn apart. I could no longer even study about this product, and what makes matters worse, is that they are forcing this 6,000-7,000 dollar product (and that’s not even including the interest) on people who make sometimes below $ 25,000.00; Guess what, you have to ask yourself, will this product truly produce the results that Rainsoft is boasting about, especially considering the fact that the filter is attached to the main water line of the home. You may think you are drinking filtered water, but if something happens, and somehow the filtering part of the line bursts due to too much water going through at one time, you are stuck with the same ol tap water you had before you purchased this very costly product. After the contracts are signed, and enough time passes, you’re stuck.

      Please, if you’re going to purchase this product using your Home Depot card, the cost of this product with an interest rate over 20 % is going to increase not only the amount you owe but also the period of time that you have to pay it back. Any respectable person, would not work for a company like this, that screws the public over. It is not fair. Do not buy anything from Rainsoft! Just continue to use your Brita filters, and buy bottled water because after the interest is tagged onto the price you aren’t saving a *** dime! I am very sorry for any of you who have been screwed over by this greedy/money hungry company.

      By the way, in our meetings, the manager even said he was “heartless.” Is that the kind’ve company that you want to give your business and money to? No!..Right?

      In addition, Rainsoft engages in false advertisement, and will lie to you, and do almost anything to make money.”

  37. Johnathon says:

    I am not sure what state your in but Rainsoft has a lot of privately owned dealerships. These dealerships hire new sales reps who unfortunately do not get it. My full demo takes no more than 45 minutes. I always tell people I’m not here to tell you your water is harmful to your health but there’s a reason why people drink bottled and filtered water.Rather than speculate what might be in your water it’s peace of mind. If your sales rep where doing the right thing he would also compare the differences between other systems on the market also go over finance options like 24 month same as cash 3.9%apr, 5.9%apr and unfortunately all the way up to 17.9% for people with poor credit. Of course no penalty for early payment. Also work with you on the overall price. Yes marketing can be a little deceiving however most people are appreciative that they learn a lot about how water can effect so many different things. My wife and I would have never imagined everything they showed us when they first payed us a visit. We have had our system over 9 year’s now in that time only needed 1 service call yes there was a $90 service fee all parts were covered under the lifetime warranty. We have 2 tank system. 1 tank to soften 1 tank to purify the water removing any VOC’s that may be in the water. (peace of mind) The R/S Systems are really built to last and extremely efficient only fill with salt once every 12 months. Was so happy with our system I decided to become a sales rep. I’m blatantly honest with people I visit unfortunately can not control other dealerships and there tactics

    • Lazy Man says:

      So you are a RainSoft distributor as I thought, “My full demo takes no more than 45 minutes. I always tell people I’m not here to tell you…”

      I don’t believe my experience is unique… which is probably why I have so many comments saying that they had the same experience.

      Is your “full demo” from different than the iPad demos that have been provided to other dealers?

      I don’t think that people should pay 5K or 6K for peace of mind. This website is about saving people money. So let’s do that, right?

  38. Johnathon says:

    Yes you do have many negative comments however there are sites that have thousands of positive feedback from happy RS customers. As far as the peace of mind is just 1 benefit there are many others like Protecting your plumbing and appliances, better tasting food and beverages, cleaner longer lasting clothes, helps people that have dry skin, greatly reduces cleaning soap scum, eliminates bathing in the harmfull byproducts of chlorine, sparkling cleaner glasses dishes pots and pans, eliminate bottled water, use 50% less soaps & cleaners, eliminate soaps and cleaners loaded with harsh chemicals, with treated water biodegradable soaps and cleaners work great. Softer silkier shinier hair. Razor blades last 3-5 times longer. The list goes on and on. So yes I agree with you having a system that has a full manufacturers lifetime warranty helps people save money

    • Lazy Man says:

      I don’t believe the sites that have thousands of positive feedback from happy RS customers. The only one I saw that seemed to have positive reviews is ConsumerAffairs.com which notes a partnership with RainSoft for its Consumer Affairs for Brands. It feels like there’s a connection between the two, especially when the other sites seem to show much more negative reviews.

      I think I covered most of the benefits you state and show how they don’t add up to thousands of dollars. Also, there are water softeners that presumably have the same benefits. Finally, I explained exactly my concerns (as I laid out in the article), but I didn’t feel they were addressed.

      I don’t believe your claim that razor blades last 3-5 times longer. I’m going to need some kind of reputable source like Consumer Reports showing it. Even so, my blades last for months, which may sound crazy, but but personal finance guru Clark Howard’s last for months.

      I don’t think the things you mentioned will really add up to much money… if it does then you need to read my tips to save money, because you can save a lot more money that this would. You don’t need a RainSoft system to eliminate bottled water.

  39. CK says:

    I went through this yesterday.

    I have hard water & was looking into the possibility of having a water softener installed so I called Rainsoft & they sent someone out to “test my water” which unexpectantly turned in a 3 hour sales presentation. I didn’t want to be rude (afterall, I did call them) so I stuck it out.

    Some red flags: The rep refused to give me a copy of the estimate he wrote up on a dry erase board, nor did he offer to leave me any brochures or even a business card.

    He stated that “today only” If I sign up they will waive the $600+ install fee and I’ll get hundreds of dollars worth of soaps and household cleaners (which I really had no interest in & I noticed had no ingredients listed on their labels).

    There’s a lifetime warranty on the equip & they will tweak the system after initial installation but then charge a $100-$120 labor fee every time they have to come out for repair.
    I agree with the OP, If I’m going to pay THAT MUCH for a lifetime guarantee I think service should be free to me.

    They wanted over $6k just for a water softener alone which I think is rather steep.

    I told him I wanted to do some more comparison shopping & had no intention of signing anything on my 1st day of research. & suggested that if he wanted to encourage a sale he should consider offering me the same incentives in a week or two after I’ve had a chance to think it over rather than employing the high-pressure “sign now or else pay a lot more later on” sales tactic that frankly removes any doubt in my mind that rushing in too fast is probably a really bad idea.

    Turns out, I won’t be getting a salt-based softener at all after researching the systems more online.
    I have a lot of houseplants that I water from my inside tap & the salt would kill them.
    The waste water is extremely harsh on the environment too & I’m into conservation so..
    I’m now looking into TAC softener instead.

    Bottom line: do your research online BEFORE you start making calls unless you’re lonely, bored & have all day to kill watching a magic show, lol

  40. Chelsey says:

    I am SO, so glad you published this article. My husband and I just went through the exact same experience. We have well-water, and we happened to see the offer for the “free test” through Home Depot. We got a call a few days later in which a very concerned man asked me a series of questions including, “Wait, do you DRINK this water??” He told me we had iron in our water and acted as if we were in grave danger. He also told me our water was extremely hard and that there was a VERY high number of dissolved solids in it. At that time, I was slightly naive in this particular subject, so I readily agreed to have someone come out and look. In the few days before someone came out, I started looking into things. I read that it’s actually quite normal for well-water to have some iron in it (he didn’t even tell me whether the amount was high or low, he simply acted devastated that we had ANY iron at all). I also read a lot into dissolved solids and found that the way he had presented it was sketchy at best. Fast-forward to the day they come out to do their sales pitch. They suddenly tell us that we, in fact, do not have iron in our water and that they (and I quote), “Must have used a dirty beaker.” They leave our house disappointed because we will not be purchasing their product for thousands of dollars, and come to find out they put our sink back together completely wrong. Bottom line, this is pretty much a scam and these guys have no idea what they’re doing.

  41. Armand says:

    I had a similar experience in NJ. The important part is to know exactly what “tests” they are performing. Whether it’s using electrodes or chemicals, even filtered water is going to have naturally occurring healthy minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium that will form precipitates (turn water cloudy) that the salesman claimed (with no evidence) that it was all harmful chemicals. When pressed on what chemicals and in what amounts (which is what I was expecting from a “free water test”), he quickly backed off to show a different experiment that claimed we had significantly high amounts of nitrates because his sample turned red. When I asked what chemicals he used to verify this, he refused to tell me and when I pressed because it didn’t seem like any Nitrate test I was familiar with… (For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nitrate_test) he then asked me what my profession was. He wasn’t too happy that I was in an engineering field and stopped the tests and started the “soap” and cost-savings calculations that I quickly stopped and asked what the system he was selling costs… it started around $5000, but he recommended the one that was near $10,000. Well, I thought that was completely ridiculous and suddenly he went full on scare tactics… telling me my water was dangerous and that I was practically drinking fertilizer, and telling me how I could save so much money if I signed and bought the system right now. When he started getting insulting by asking if I thought it was ok if my wife drinks our disgusting water, I challenged him to pay for our water to be tested by an independent lab. I said if he was so sure that our water was bad, an actual scientific test proving what harmful chemicals were in our water and at what levels would be the proof we need to warrant a purchase of that size. He became beligerent that his tests were valid and I asked him to leave my house. After the recent water problems in places like Flint, Michigan… it seems like they’re simply finding new ways to scare people into making huge purchases that may not even be needed.

    If anyone has a concern about their water, I highly recommend sending your water out to an independent lab, or if money is too tight, many government agencies or local universities will do water tests at a reasonable cost. It’s far better than trusting a salesmen with some dubious science experiments.

  42. Jaimie says:

    Very similar experience, a man came up to us at Home Depot asked us if we would take a survey about our water. This turned into a phone call about someone coming out to test our water. We were told that they would test the water for free and told us someone from Home Depot would come out and explain different things available for purchase at Home Depot! Not a representative from Rainsoft! They claimed 30 minutes it carried on for almost 3 hours! The “magic show” is the perfect way to explain the situation. Then came the pricend! Any informeday consumer would not make a $7,000 purchase without doing any research!! Order now, today only you can get these free soaps!! Ha ha, no.

  43. Fellow RS representative says:

    I completely agree with Johnathan. This relates to the “bad used car salesman” as well. Some dealers hire unprofessional salesman that only have an agenda to make money. Those are the rotten apples that ruin it for the rest of us that are out here with good intentions.

    We are also a distributor for RS. Its an independent dealer, but we can honestly say we’re pure. I’ve never worked with more of a caring, honest sales team as I have here. My demo’s are similar on time and I truly educate as much as I can. My first question I ask the couple is “what do you know about your water?” If they’re educated well I’ll go through the test quick and leave it at that. The most common answer I get though is “Well, we know it comes from the city and that’s about it” If that’s the case I’ll be a little more thorough on the test to teach them whatever I can. The test take roughly 30-45 minutes as promised, then I ask the homeowners if they would like to know more about possible solutions to fix their issues so that way the time about going to the table and talking over equipment and prices at that point is completely voluntary. This is of course if they have any issues to begin with, there’s honestly been times where the home already had naturally soft water and I let them know that they didn’t need anything and left it at that. Yes, they’re a little pricey than what some people expect, but as Johnathan stated RS equipment is designed to last. But then again how much is good, clean water worth to you? And also how many other investments do you know that are less than $10k that will last you you’re whole lifetime no matter where you move to? I’ve met customers that hace stated they would spend $10k-$20k to have safe, clean water for their homes forever.

    The soaps may not seem like a big deal since, ya know, its just soap. But 85% of the world has hard water. The detergent and soap market (mainly Proctor & Gamble) know this and so 95% of the detergents you purchase don’t even have soap in them, but they’re mostly made of chemical water softeners. That’s why they’re called detergents and not soap. So once you make a decision to invest in a mechanical filtration system, it is a waste of money to continue to keep purchasing chemical water softeners on top of that. Most people haven’t even heard of pure, biodegradable soaps let alone know where to purchase them. Plus they’re also more expensive compared to basic detergent since they contain pure soap. Instead of having customers go out of their way and spend extra on getting the recommend soaps with soft water, that’s why we offer it as a package.

    Hopefully I’m able to answer some of your questions and I would also love to answer any others you may have.

    • Lazy Man says:

      I don’t doubt that some dealers hire unprofessional salesmen. However, as I mentioned, our salesman great and I liked him. He was very professional. I don’t think my article/review and dozens of reader comments should be disregarded as a rogue salesmen behaving unprofessionally. If that’s your “take-away” from reading the article, I suggest that you re-read it.

      So someone signs up for a “free water test” at Home Depot (with Home Depot being the only company listed on the mailing). Isn’t it fair for them (and me) to expect that Home Depot is the company behind it? Do you present water filtration, purifiers, softeners and pricing from other companies? If customers send in a water sample (like we did), do you give them an analysis similar to the local city/county does?

      I don’t think a commenter here has mentioned getting a variety of water products to choose from.

      Was this nationwide relationship with Home Depot initiated by a rogue, independent salesman? I’ve read press releases that says it is not.

      There are people who are willing to pay $200K for a Ferrari. I don’t doubt that some people would pay $10-20K for safe, clean water. Do you present those people with a variety of options from other companies and educate them that they can get safe, clean water for much, much less than 10K?

      If the average consumer wants to get from point A to point B in a car, my opinion is that it is misleading to put them in a Ferrari dealership and say, “Here are your car options.”

      Detergents may be chemical softeners, but that seems important to clean clothes. I looked at the definition of soap and it seems to be oil and sodium hydroxide or another strong alkali (my understanding here could be incorrect, let me know). My laundry detergent seems to have the “strong alkali” of part of that, and I’m not sure I want oil on my clothes.

      I want avoid any conversation that there’s some conspiracy theory that Proctor and Gamble are pulling off clothes cleaning scam (you mentioned them specifically).

      I certainly don’t want my drinking water to have the same ingredients as laundry detergent.

      I don’t mind RainSoft offering the package of soap, but there’s not much information provided on the soaps’ brand, quality, or ingredients. I wasn’t presented with an opportunity to review this soap as the package was presented as being only available on the day of the demonstration. I couldn’t find out where this soap is sold and how much people spend to buy for it “in the real world”… i.e. apart from the RainSoft salespitch.

      I find it very odd that any salesman can lean heavily on RainSoft’s brand/reputation to sell what appears (in my opinion and analysis) to be a beyond premium-priced product, while at the same time pitching a very vague soap package.

      Since you are looking to answer questions can you please post details of the soap? Specifically, I’m interested in the brand, ingredients, and where it is sold in retail or on the Internet (basically anywhere outside of RainSoft-related pitch).

      I have to ask… why are you “Fellow RS representative” instead of giving your name and location? What’s your motivation for being anonymous? (I’m pseudo-anonymous because I give great details about my finances.)

  44. Mark says:

    I can’t believe Home. Depot is helping this company! What a shame…

  45. Chris says:

    This tale was extremely helpful!

    I thankfully declined the initial presentation, after realizing that this $8800 offering of $183/month for 60 months would put us into debt for 5 years on something that I couldn’t find available from their RS website. I can see the different systems, but everything on their website seems to redirect to something else…dubious

    Either way, I did enjoy finding out that our water here in Chandler Arizona is at 863 on the TDS test. :O

    The Brita filter we currently use brought us down to 710, and with their RS RO unit he brought in to showcase, it was down to 10! It did taste better, and overall I love the concept of avoiding chlorinated water as well as heavy metals and any other contaminates that have found their way into our water supply, but I am not ready to sell my 1st born to attain said healthiness…while I do love my family and want to be healthy, that just does not seem worth it to me.

    Are there better solutions in order to get the following:
    1. Clean drinking water
    2. Clean bathing water
    3. Detergent-less cleaning of our clothing (this was the pretty cool Cleanstart thing they showed us)

    I’m open to assistance, from someone that is interested in helping? :D

    • Lazy Man says:

      I believe that “clean” is relative. There are other reverse osmosis systems available and I believe that the technology is pretty much standard.

      I wrote this article which may help you: How to Get Clean, Purified Water (at The Best Price). There are some reverse osmosis systems for a couple hundred dollars.

      Also, please see the 3rd party video I included in the article about TDS. Another resource I like is Dr. Christopher Bray’s RainSoft article which states:

      “This testing is not true water quality testing – they are testing for TDS – total dissolved solids. TDS is something that you can easily find on the web for free and is basically reflective of how much calcium there is in the water (technically it’s the sum of all the cations and anions in the water – calcium, magnesium, carbonates, chloride, etc). If you make the mistake of getting RainSoft to test your water for free, they will call you to tell you your water is full of impurities, but they will have no idea about any of the common water contaminants.”

      (Note: There are links in the quotation/article above may give you more details. The opinions about RainSoft in that quotation are the opinion of the author.)

      Personally, I wouldn’t be worried about getting calcium in my water (if that’s accurate).

      Finally, I have tried to use very careful language in this response because RainSoft is suing me. I just want to be helpful and serve consumers and as always, everything I write is my opinion and correct to the very best of my knowledge.

      If this is helpful, please consider donating to my GoFundMe campaign because lawyers are very expensive!

  46. Chris says:

    Oh!!! Also, the website for the soap that he mentioned I found myself, its called Natural Visions:


    Looks nice, but again, price of first-born aside….its worth LOOKING at

  47. EL Capitan says:

    We had an RS demo just yesterday and thought we needed this RS but thankful to the gods no contract was pushed on us on the spot. We told the spoke person we’re leaving on Friday and won’t be back til mid Nov. We told him to come back in Nov. Not anymore!

  48. Aleksandra Doncheva says:

    What you described in this article is exactly what happened to us. We got scammed out of so much money!
    The salesman showed us a piece of paper with all the contaminants that the system supposedly takes out, and now i regret not making a copy of that because i cannot find anything like that online, i sent emails to Rainsoft and they tell me the info is on their site but it is not there. I will test our water tomorrow pre and post treatment and will demand my money back!

  49. Jini P says:

    I wish I had done my research first and seen this information. I just went thru the “magic show” last night. Home Depot totally misrepresented what they were offering. I would never have agreed to a sales pitch like that. After the 2nd hour, I asked the salesman to leave…at which point he became blatantly arrogant. My 15 year old daughter actually was worried about me and came into the kitchen to “protect” me. They have no literature, no business cards, nothing and unless you act right now and buy it tonight you are SOL. I guess I’m stuck with my life threatening hard water.

  50. Annie Clarke says:

    I am so fired up with this company and I think they should have a class action against them. Also I believe Home Depot should be held accountable in some way Basically my experience was a woman called me saying she was with Home Depot offering a water test 39-45 mins max for $20 gift card. I tolf her we weren’t in the position to buy anything due to our current financial situation she said not a problem it was just testing water which would benefit us. Long story short the first guy flaked and I called Home Depot to see what was going on and they had no idea who I should contact. I basically just said whatever and went on with my life then the same woman kept hounding myself and my husband apologizing profusely for cancelling. I declined another appointment however unbeknownst to me they called my husband who set up an appointment. I was expecting a quick test and 20 bucks for Home Depot and it was 3 hours and the cheesiest most awkward situation in my own home. The sales guy was nice a little smug we told him we could not buy anything but he insisted on doing these tests etc with this weird little brief case trying to make him look at scientific. Finally when it was time for to finally wrap it up I said we can’t buy this and we have appointments to go to. He kept asking about credit blah blah and I basically excused myself and went to my room. 15 mins later my husband finally was released from the monotonous pitch. Surprisingly enough, not, he had no gift card on him but would send it in the mail. I called Home Depot a few days later because I was pissed and felt like my time was stolen from me. The manager had no idea what I was talking about and was going to look into it. I left him the companies phone number and they said they would be calling corporate as well. I was over it until I read all the reviews these people should not get away with this. By the way what’s grounds do they have to sue? I say sue them back for insulting people’s intelligence. All seriousness though some people are very easily sold and I feel that this company can really screw over people’s financial situation. That’s my rant.

    • Aleksandra Doncheva says:

      That’s exactly what I think too. Home Depot cannot be serious about doing business with such companies. Rainsoft has made a good product but I dont understand how they are ok with the dealerships putting any price tag on their product.
      The dealership that sold me my system omitted information and that’s what I will sue them for. Home Depot needs to pay some amount to all people that purchased this system

  51. Josh says:

    Nancy, how is this site a scam? This is a place for people to share their experiences with the RainSoft system. People talk about cars and car dealerships online everyday.. are those scams too?

    I was lucky enough to NOT have as pushy of a saleman that others have experienced. You may have received some special deal because when my fiance and I had the guy over to do the presentation, there was no labor warranty forever offered. There were also a lot of side costs involved in the upkeep of the system. Additionally, the system actually removes several of the beneficial minerals that are in water, but they won’t tell you that. I prefer being healthy and saving money to having my skin feel like slime :).

    • Lazy Man says:

      I have removed the comment from Nancy above. I had received another “testimonial” from an “Ann” coming a few minutes later that appears to have come from the same computer.

      I don’t believe these are honest reviews from actual customers. It is my opinion that it is coming from a disgruntled RainSoft dealer, but I obviously have no way to prove it.

  52. Phillip says:

    I had the 3 hours ‘magic’ show. The salesman I got was actually a nice guy and not too pushy. It wasn’t really trickery it seemed pretty honest to me. When he did the chlorine test which showed a high reading, I went and did my own sample on the spot in front of him with my pool chlorine kit – got the exact same reading. The soap/detergent subscription thing and money you save on cleaning products is just exaggerated.
    At the end of the ‘show’ I was interested in buying a rainsoft unit. I have bad calcium build up in all facets/sinks, coffee maker, shower screen, fridge ice catcher and my pool tiles have been almost ruined with hard deposits. I was in the market for a water softener unit. Now what is a rip off is the INITIAL PRICE he presented. The models he recommended were from $6800 – $8800. You would have to be insane to pay this price. The financing plan is a scam. Who the hell pays 17.99% interest for anything? The key here is NEGOTIATION. I said if he could make it $3000 he would have a deal. I then haggled for 15 minutes and finally got him down to $4600 for the EC4 (no RO unit) which will work fine for a family of 4-6. I just paid with my CC and will pay that off immediately. The unit got installed the next day. It works great!
    If you paid $6800+ you got ripped off. Especially if you financed at 17.99%. I think the units are still overpriced. The markup on these things are insane. I am sure you could produce these for $100 in china.
    During the whole process I was checking online for comparable units. Maybe costs $2500 + $1000 installation. So these rain soft units are on the high end. But every review I have seen is good + lifetime warranty is a nice bonus.
    Bottom line – the units are overpriced but the product is top of the line. Never finance anything for a depreciating asset. A water softener for $4000 + adds no value to a home in my opinion as most people don’t care. So don’t finance at 17.99% for 8 years. Only buy it if you can afford it in cash.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Phillip, do you compare it to a similar solution by GE? It was a few years ago, but I don’t think that they was anything over $800 at Lowes. I’m not convinced you got a deal at $4600.

    • Phillip Nagy says:

      The $800 from lowes doesn’t have the carbon filter. I think I probably paid $1000 too much. Not a disaster as long as it works and costs me $0 to maintain for next 20 + yrs.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Hmmm, Phillip. Well this whoe house filter does have carbon and is $459 on Amazon.

      I’m not an expert on water filtration, but that’s why I was interested in getting more educated by Home Depot. I looked forward to hear the pros and cons of different types of filters from different manufacturers, but that wasn’t what happened.

      I would never hold your breath on something costing $0 to maintain for the next 20+ years. In my experience, you are only likely to be disappointed if you are expecting the perfect case scenario.

    • Phillip Nagy says:

      that amazon $459 thing is the same as what most people have in their fridge. It is a 5 micron filter, then carbon filter then another 5 micron filter. It will get rid of dirt and chlorine and that is about it. It does not remove ionic Calcium or magnesium ions (hard water). Ions needs to be removed by ion exchange (ie the EC4 rainsoft)
      The presentation should have focused more on the technology to explain to people what is going on and why those <$1000 system will NOT remove water hardness.

    • Lazy Man says:

      In my case, I presented a specific concern (the TTHMs that I mentioned in the article). I was not concerned with water hardness. The presentation/demonstration appeared to be a pre-programmed iPad application rather than listening to what someone needs/concerns are and addressing them.

      Here’s a $497 system from GE from HomeDepot that claims to remove water hardness. Are you suggesting that it won’t do that, because it is a <$1000 system?

  53. Randy Kruen says:

    Guys, obviously you get nothing for free. I picked up my “free” water testing kit from Home Depot today. Then I googled it, and here I am. This test kit simply preys upon people who are too cheap to pay a few bucks for a proper test. Home Depot themselves even sell a do it yourself water test kit for around 20 bucks which will at least give you some results. Bottom line is, dont bother with this kit, you wont get any definitive answers from your 3 hour demo, but you will get pressured into purchasing an overpriced water softener and accessories. And, SHAME on Home Depot for being associated with and lending their name to this. Good for you Lazy Man!

  54. Phillip Nagy says:

    Lazyman – I figured anything less than $1000 is clearly inferior to a product advertised for $6000+. Maybe I was mistaken? Yes that GE one seems to do the job? but maybe needs a carbon filter + installation costs, might bring it to $1500? I also found a Kenmore one that has a smart phone app that tracks water usage and hardness levels! wow, that seems advanced but only costs $730? what am I missing here? why are these so cheap?

    I know someone from Rainsoft is reading this message – can someone please kindly explain why comparable units are being sold for 1/4 the price?
    I wish Rainsoft had a smart phone app. Rainsoft – if you are offering the best product on the market, you may consider providing a smartphone app. It is disappointing to see for 1/4 the price I could have got a smart phone version.

    Also Rainsoft – please do not sue me. I am not saying anything bad about your product. As long as my unit lasts 20 years with zero maintenance fees (apart from salt) I will be content.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Maybe a product under $1000 is clearly inferior to one priced at $6000. There’s a lot of psychology that uses that to get people to buy the higher priced product. It may be worth my article on on the price-placebo effect (or anyone else’s article.) There is a belief that expensive wines are better, but if you remove the pricing information from the taste tests, people often behave differently.

      I get very nervous that consumers are being ripped-off when high pricing is combined with a questionable (at best my opinion) sales pitch. That’s what got me writing about the MonaVie juice scheme where people were paying $45 for a wine-bottle sized juice to be involved in a business opportunity or because they thought it would cure their medical issues.

      I’m going to trust brands like GE and Kenmore over a sales pitch by anyone affiliated with RainSoft. I think that RainSoft (and/or proponents) have claimed that the dealers are “independent”, but the dealers seem to ONLY off RainSoft products. That makes them dependent on RainSoft in my opinion.

      It would have been helpful if those independent dealers presented those options from GE and Kenmore.

      Finally, I think the Pur sink filter I have is carbon-based and I believe I’ve read that it takes out the chlorine and TTHMs that I was concerned about. (I would be more definitive in my statements, but I don’t have the time to provide references now and I don’t want RainSoft to suggest this comment is defamatory in the lawsuit in any way.)

      I’m not going to disagree on the $1500 price, but maybe it could be less if you went for the carbon solution I did. And many people may not care about softening. Imagine if you cable company allowed you to pick the 10-15 channels you wanted for 1/10th the price. You’d probably take that, right? Being able to pick and choose what you want for a fraction of the money seems a lot better than paying a premium to combine a couple of things together.

  55. Maggie says:

    Wow, this is a very very helpful article. We appreciate your info. The salesman of rain soft did extractly presentation as this article discribed for our house today more than one hour “magic shows” tests stuffs he brought with him in his briefcase. We are glad we did this research, and that we aren’t too impulsive to buy the system this afternoon. Thank you

  56. Joshua says:

    Love the read up. I am in commercial sales, of a commodity product. During a visit to home depot, some guy not dressed in home depot attire asked me to help him out by checking a few things on the survey. fast forward to today, I get a call, where I naturally let the salesperson or survey reviewer, want to verify a few things. They wanted to schedule the appointment today. I was somewhat confused, as they told me that my wife had to be here to see the tests. After them asking if I could assure them that my wife would be here, I said, she might, or she might not, as I can’t determine if she will be or not 100%, but go ahead and send the salesperson over to conduct the water test. I got some sob story about how they would get in trouble for sending out the tester if my wife was not here. At this point, I ask them, does she have to be here since women may be easier to scare into buying a filtration system or some sort? Why do you need to tell me how hard or soft my water is? anyway they called back and said someone couldnt make it. Anyhow, I could of used the 20 dollar giftcard, as I wanted to buy some random junk, and I am not opposed to free money.

  57. Sue says:

    I purchased a rain soft system about 12 years ago and was told when I moved ,they would come and install it in my new home free but when I moved, they tried to charge me almost $400 to install it in my new home which I have never installed. now I have the system sitting in my garage not being used. Because I refuse to pay them to come back out and install it again when I was told it would be installed free

  58. Bridgette says:

    I wish I would’ve seen this before we got this system. We live in Florida, and the water here is really terrible. We thought getting this system would solve that.
    I am not happy and am currently looking to see if we have any options for getting out of this nightmare. Our system was installed 10 days ago. We were told our financing would be 75$ per month for 7 years. Today, I get a statement in the mail, and it is actually a credit card, and 75$ a month will take more than 10 years to pay off. We are a middle-aged, well educated couple and did not understand that this was the case. We also were not told we would have to buy salt pellets, and when I complained about that, the salesman told me he did tell me that. We also were told this was a water ‘purifier’. Even the installer said “now you have purified water”. I found out today it is only a water softener. I also discovered today that the salt actually goes into the water, even though I specifically asked that during that presentation and was told ‘no’ – it was only used to ‘clean’ the system once per month. We notice a chlorine smell on our skin from time to time and the salesperson told us this system would eliminate that. Well, it hasn’t. I should’ve listened to my gut instincts and cancelled in the first three days.
    I feel like we’ve been scammed. I also feel like the salesman misrepresented the abilities of the system. I hope others read all these entries before they get sucked into buying it.

  59. Adam says:

    Hi all,
    Me and my wife had the system installed a couple weeks ago. I think everyone s view and experience is different and most people don’t go out of their way when something is working correctly and efficiently to leave a good review. I would have to give entire experience 3 out of 5 stars. The product we love! Install was a nightmare. We have decent credit and were approved for something like 4%, if they told me 17% I would have laughed them out of my house. I am on a well and the pH fluctuates a lot and my wife has very sensitive skin. Already her dry scalp is clearing up, I love being able to throw purified ice in a cup and turn on my faucet for some great tasting water. The sales person was very nice but I saw through all the sales tactics. I expected it so no big deal. I havnt gotten the soaps yet but I am excited just to get away from proctor and Gamble although I wish I could find out a little more about these products. Because they are sales people I am sure some will try to get over on others and sell them something you don’t want or need but if you pay attention and ask the right questions I personally think the system is great and you can get what is right for you and your situation, but I am also the kind of person that doesn’like my toothpaste because it has fluoride in it and don’t want my hopefully future child exposed to harmful and unnecessary chemicals . Great report but I do think it’s a little too negative and or harsh. But like i said every experience is different. Maybe a little over priced and poor sale tactics but great system and perfect for us since I can pay it off with low monthly payments.

    • Lazy Man says:

      Thanks Adam. It’s interesting to me that you say you would have laughed them out of your house if they told you it was 17% and then suggest my review was “too negative and or harsh.” I think laughing someone out of the house is much worse.

      I would disagree with “maybe a little over-priced.” In my opinion that statement seems like saying, “Jupiter is maybe a little bigger than my thumb.”

      Not sure why you are excited to get away from Proctor and Gamble. If that was an issue that gives you “excitement”, why didn’t you just do it earlier independent of RainSoft?

  60. Carminia says:

    Wish I would have read this before we got our soft water put in. I like that you are fighting for your rights! If you did this on yelp they wouldn’t sue you.

  61. CR Taylor says:

    Do they pay to be on this site? Reviews seem to be awfully positive which raises red flags

    • Lazy Man says:

      CR Taylor,

      I’m not sure and I haven’t seen them disclose that they’ve made such payments to Consumer Affairs. I believe a company should do so. However, RainSoft is highlighted on the Consumer Affairs for Brands.

      Truth in Advertising wrote in 2014 how ConsumerAffairs works:

      “Unbeatablesale.com, a company that pursued the challenge against ConsumerAffairs.com with ERSP, an advertising self-regulatory body, contended that the site creates biased and negative portrayals of companies that don’t pay for its service called ConsumerAffairs for Brands.

      For a fee, this service helps companies collect positive reviews through social media, targeted phone calls, emails and feedback cards. Those solicited reviews are then used as a basis for ConsumerAffairs.com’s rating of the company. A paying company also has access to ConsumerAffair’s dispute resolution process with consumers, which can also affect the company’s ratings.”

      In that article, Consumer Affairs gives its own side of the story.

      Due to RainSoft’s lawsuit against me for this review, I’ll refrain from giving my opinion on this. I may have incomplete or outdated information.

      As always it’s up to the customer to make their own decision.

  62. Dara says:

    Greetings. The salesman just left my house. I also did the Home Depot mail-in water test, which found my water to be off the charts. I haven’t read every post on this blog yet, but I’ll will. Seems like the bottom line is that buying a whole-house system for $10K without more research does not make sense. The person who come to my house (a technician, he said, not a salesman) made it seem like I needed to do this right away. It ain’t my style, and he seemed annoyed especially when I asked him to give me a written estimate. Any advice?

  63. Catherine Echevarria says:

    Thank you for posting this! My husband brought home the free water kit from HD and we filled the tube and sent it in. I didnt really consider that it would be a “scam”. I just got the call from rep telling me that they have the hardness test back. Get this, it was a 10! My first reaction was “wow thats not good” but, we dont drink the water so im too concerned). I then stupidly told her that they had recently done some work on the water lines right down the road and that sent her into a worried panic! “Oh my goodness that is NOT GOOD! We really need to send a tech out right away. We actually have a tech in your area tomorrow and can have him run some more tests.” Whenever someone says that they have a “tech in your area” I get suspicious but then you add her dramatic reaction and I got super suspicious which, led me to you ;) Thanks for the honest review!

  64. FP says:

    We also had a RS rep. come to our home. He was super nice and helpful, not pushy at all. He gave us a business card and asked us to call him with any questions. We did not purchase, we informed him that we would like to do our homework and not purchase on impulse.

    I am so glad I came across this site, thank you. My question now is, which water softener does anyone recommend. Thank you again for saving me money.

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